Sunday, June 24, 2012

Math Expressions--HELP!

Does anyone out there use Math Expressions? In kindergarten?

We had our half-day training on Friday, and I walked away with a huge worry! 

If you have an answer to this burning question, PLEASE leave a comment!

My idea for the moment is to buy about 30 of the shoebox-sized sterilite tubs with lids (just in case I ever have a huge class). These would match the tubs I already have my math manipulatives in, and I know everything would fit in one, but are they too big?


Jennifer Tilton

Are the manipulatives in little plastic bags- one for each student. Ours had little plastic bags of foam pattern blocks, counters, money, open shape rings and some others. I took every baggie out, sorted them by type and then combined all the pattern block baggies into one shoe box. That way it was easier to pass out and giving them the whole shoebox would encourage them to play with other manipulatives that we were not using that day.

LeAnne Cooper

Thanks for the info, Jennifer. We are not receiving ours in the individual student bags; they will be all sorted by type in large boxes. I like to idea of keeping them separated like that in those shoeboxes. The only reason I thought I would have each child have their own box is because the teacher who piloted Expressions this year for our grade level said you need multiple types of manipulatives on any given day. She kept all of hers in a crayon box in their desks, but I don't have desks, so that's not really an option for me. Plus, she said not all the manipulatives fit in the crayon box.


I am not sure what manipulatives you get in K, since I teach 2nd, but I find the organization annoying with this math program!

I ended up purchasing 100 calorie sized baggies and keep 1 set of cards in a separate bag. I then keep all of the baggies in containers I purchased at the dollar tree. We have about 7 sets of cards in 2nd grade, so that is 7 baskets and who knows how many baggies!

My school purchased us gallon sized ziplock bags for us to use for storage, but there is no way I can have all the 7 cards in one bag and have my kids get them out quickly enough for the fast paced math lesson.

Hopefully this helps some.


We have tons of manipulatives with our series too. What i'm going to try this year is a student math tool kit. I'm going to use the gallon size ziploc bags and each child will keep their manipulatives in their as they're introduced and used. As needed, we'll rotate things out so our bags aren't full. Hope this helps!

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Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten


We are in our third year of MX and I organize the materials differently as the year progress and the student mature.

Beginning: Materials are sorted by type in gallon-bags with one box beginning of year manipulative (foam numbers, blue and red inch squares, etc.)

The children each have a sandwich bag with their number on it and as we learn/grow they are given the manipulatives to keep - sometimes they pick up new manipulatives as part of the opening job, sometimes the teacher helpers pass these out, etc.

I find if the children have a whole bag of all the manipulatives they get distracted. So I gradually release responsibility to them.

If we no longer are using a certain manipulative then they go back into the gallon sized bag.

It takes a bit of time and I mix it up at times using the manipulatives and other times conducting the lesson on the smartboard.

I hope this helps! Good luck!